08 February 2010

My first illustration for the February tutorials

Every endeavor has to start somewhere. I chose to begin this blog with an image I did a few years ago. I felt it was quite successful and nailed all the points I was trying to hit. The purpose was to show the construction of an open cell sheet piling application. I work from photos as much as I can, but construction jobsite photos are usually not the nicest things to look at, so often my job is to make what is intrinsically dirty, muddy, and completely chaotic look cool and dramatic. It seemed to work this time.

I attended the NAPP's 2007 PhotoshopWorld in Boston and submitted this image for the Illustration category of their Guru awards. To my surprise, it was chosen as the winner that year. Even though a few years have gone by since I painted the image, it is still one of my favorites. The illustration was entirely hand-painted in Photoshop using many layers. The original size was 12.25"x9.25" at 300 ppi. Most of what you see was painted with a Wacom stylus and tablet with a limited assortment of brushes. In order to get the shape of the piling 'cells,' I started with an overhead CAD schematic provided by the client, brought it into Photoshop as a vector shape, then used Photoshop's great transform tools to skew it into the correct perspective. This was done for the top and bottom, which then served as a guide for the connecting pieces.

Click here to see a Flash animation that shows the developmental process.
Click here to see it as my featured project at the Directory of Illustration.

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